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Archive for May, 2013

…Too Tall For The Shelf

May 31st, 2013 Jorma 14 comments
Mr. Mitterhoff in the Rectory

Mr. Mitterhoff in the Rectory

Last night Barry and I played the first of four Sold Out shows here in the Tri-State area. We were at the Outpost In The Burbs in Montclair, New Jersey. Tonight is our first night at the City Winery… as I said, sold out. Anyhoo… here is our set list from last night:

Jorma Kaukonen And Barry Mitterhoff, 12, 2013
The Outpost In The Burbs
Montclair, New Jersey
Thursday, May 30, 2013

First Set:
1. Too Many Years
2. Genesis
3. I See The Light
4. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
5. How Long Blues
6. Candy Man
7. River Of Time
8. Prohibition Blues
9. Barbeque King
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Been So Long
2. The Terrible Operation
3. Come Back Baby
4. I’ll be All Right Some Day
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Second Chances
8. Good Shepherd
9. Hesitation Blues
10. 99 Year Blues
11. Nine Pound Hammer
12. Encore: Water Song

Heckuva show if we do say so ourselves. On to Manhattan…

Categories: Diary, Set Lists, Venues, trips and journeys Tags:

I Never Looked Away

May 30th, 2013 Jorma 20 comments
Jerry Garcia, Mike Bloomfield and Me ca 1966-7

Jerry Garcia, Mike Bloomfield and Me ca 1966-7

People send me great pictures and stuff… I have no recollection where this one was taken. San Francisco, obviously but other than that, details are lost in antiquity. There we were… youngsters in the throws of life, just waiting to make it happen… looking down a road filled with endless summers.

Robben Ford & me... a couple of years ago.

Robbin Ford & me... a couple of years ago.

Foto by Michael G. Stewart

Yeah, time marches on if we’re lucky. In all these years, no matter what happened, I never looked away from the music, and here I am today, in New Jersey getting ready to play The Outpost In The Burbs with my buddy Barry Mitterhoff. The good times are still darned good!

Every Day Is Memorial Day As Life Goes On!

May 28th, 2013 Jorma 16 comments
The house where I grew up...

The house where I grew up...

Every now and then when I go back to the DC Metro area… I just have to make the roots trip. I’ve inflicted this on my son Zach, a number of times and he bears it with quiet dignity. This time I was in the area with my buddy Jerry B. and after checking out his stamping grounds in Southern Maryland, we drove up Northampton St. in Chevy Chase D.C. and I showed him the house we owned from 1948 to the early 70’s. I lived there, went to Lafayette elementary school across the street, Alice Deal Junior High and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School… in and around Dad’s postings.

At the wall... things they left behind...

At the wall... things they left behind...

I had three days to visit the Wall… and in an odd way, it was a homecoming in time.

Piece of my heart... nurses waiting for dustoff...

Piece of my heart... nurses waiting for dustoff...

You should read ‘A Piece Of My Heart,’ stories of 26 nurses who served in Vietnam. Also read, Lynda Van Devanter’s ‘Home Before Morning.’

Thanks brother... dustoff pilots

Thanks brother... dustoff pilots

The story of combat is not mine… the story of trying to live in humanity as an American is. Yet all these things, struggles, sacrifice, smiles and tears shape our collective worlds.

Things that might have been...

Things that might have been...

Our lives go on… the Fallen exist in a moment frozen in time.

Still standing...

Still standing...

Indeed, life goes on as memories are the cement that join the bricks in our house of dreams.

Ohio boy...

Ohio boy...

I saw a motorcycle with Ohio plates and this picture was on the seat… As long as there is life, there is memory.

Thoughts manifested...

Thoughts manifested...

Forever young...

Forever young...

They gaze from the tree line to the Wall… perhaps to see if their names are there…

Uncle Tarmo in Sicily... 1944 or '45

Uncle Tarmo in Sicily... 1944 or '45

My Uncle Tarmo… North Aftrica… Sicily… Italy… His flag rests in it’s mahogany case in our living room. Couldn’t find a picture of Uncle Pentti in time for this blog. He fought his way up through the Pacific with a flame thrower on his back… winding up in the Philippines.

Jorma Sr. when he got out of OCS

Jorma Sr. when he got out of OCS

Born in 1910, they considered Dad a little old for the service. He busted his ass to pass the physical… with Mom’s help he made it. He went to Japan after VJ Day with MacArthur’s staff as a translator. They cracked safes in the ashes of a firebombed Tokyo and perused documents.

Son Jorma, Grandson Zach and brother Jerry B.

Son Jorma, Grandson Zach and brother Jerry B.

Three generations of Kaukonen blood… and a good friend. This is something to remember too…

And for the Fallen… you are not forgotten. We honor your service!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

Memorial Day Weekend 3… The Run

May 26th, 2013 Jorma 8 comments

Words do not really do justice to the experience. When I get home, I’ll post some pictures. Suffice it to say… we had an unforgettable experience surrounded by like minded people. Tomorrow, I drop Zach off in Arlington and then ride home. Looks like I might hit some rain.

That’s what rain suits are for…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

Memorial Day Weekend 2

May 26th, 2013 Jorma 11 comments

Yesterday my son Zach and I left the hotel in Silver Spring about 0930 and headed down Georgia Avenue through Maryland, into DC and down to the Mall. Well, I thought I was heading down Georgia avenue. Actually, I headed ‘up’ Georgia Avenue and didn’t realize I was going the wrong way till I got to Olney. I figured that since I was from here, I couldn’t get lost. Wrong. This was country when I was a kid and now it’s non stop urban/suburban sprawl. Ok. I finally turned my GPS on and when the compass said NORTH… I accepted my mistake. My son, cutting the old man a little slack, said nothing, but smiled knowingly.

Down at the Mall, we found a parking place somewhere in the midst of a hundred thousand motorcycles. I thought about dropping a locating pin on my iPhone, but then eschewed that show of weakness. We were walking over the the public bathrooms at the Lincoln Memorial when I heard a bagpipe being played in a field nearby. Then a docent was telling the story of the Wall… we stopped to listen. Maya Lin, the architect who designed this most touching of monuments, is from Athens, Ohio. Her story is amazing enough, but the work she created exposes a nerve from that most turbulent of times that defined my generation. We see deeply into that deep cut that wounded America, and we come away healed.

There were Vets… children of Vets, grandchildren of Vets… Folks from around the world, people like Zach and me… touching beyond words. It is 0625. I’m going to wake Zach in an hour or so and we’ll mount up and head back downtown to watch Rolling Thunder… The Run To The Wall!

This time, I’ll go in the right direction.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

Memorial Day Weekend 1

May 25th, 2013 Jorma 3 comments

The ride out from Ohio was magnificent for me. Unfortunately, not so magnificent for my riding buddy Jerry who’s aging but loyal Harley breathed her last just north of Cumberland, Maryland on I-68. Of course there’s no good time for bad news but her 106,000 mile engine chose to retire in a filling station… better than by the side of the Interstate. His ride was done so he made arrangements to have the bike brought to the Harley Shop in Cumberland and sat there waiting for a friend from Silver Spring to come pick him up. What are friends for. In that spirit, he sent me on my way and I completed my trip to Silver Spring in magnificent T-shirt weather. This was amazing because I somehow managed to miss all the heavy storms that seemed to always be around me, but never on me. I’ll take it.

Yesterday, it was cold and rainy. As I was about to suit up for breakfast, Jerry came by with a borrowed car and he and I and his pal Dave caught some yummy breakfast in a local diner. Hey, I would have ridden if I had to, but since a nice dry cage was there… in the cage I drove.

After breakfast we went on took Jerry’s roots trip and I saw where he grew up in Southern Maryland and then we went through Rock Creek Park and I took him by the old Kaukonen House in Chevy Chase (DC side of the line). Not much has changed in the old neighborhood, but it’s smaller than I seem to remember.

OK, a brief moment’s nostalgia and then down to the Mall and a poignant walk past the Wall. I won’t be posting pictures until I get home, but I am always deeply moved by the Presence one feels at the wall. I am always reminded that whether on served or not, no matter how one feels or felt about the Vietnam War, this moment in time defined my generation. To think that a third of all Vietnam Veterans are already gone is a sobering thought.

After our visit to the Wall, we went back out to Maryland to the Harley shop in Rockville, chewed the fat for a while and then down to Arlington to pick up my son Zach, who is still sleeping as i write this. With Zach in to, we battled traffic back to Silver Spring, had dinner with Dave and his family and retired to the hotel. Today is supposed to be a little warmer and it will not be raining. After breakfast, we’re going to fire up the scooter and ride back down to the Mall and check out the action. Tomorrow, of course, is the Run To The Wall… about which more will surely be revealed.

Good times, and hopefully… good weather.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Memorial Day… The Run To The Wall

May 22nd, 2013 Jorma 17 comments
103 finely tuned cubic inches...

103 finely tuned cubic inches...

Every time I’m in the D.C. metro area, if I have time I pay my respects at the WW I, WW II, Korean War and Vietnam memorials. My father and his two brother were WW II vets. My Uncle Tarmo’s flag resides with honor in our living room. He rests in the National Cemetery in Los Angeles. My Dad and Uncle Pen are both in the Inglewood cemetery in LA next to Mom and Ida and Jaako Kaukonen.

For the first time I will be riding to DC with my buddy Jerry. We’re going to pick up my son Zach after school Friday and we’re going to spend the weekend seeing those sights I mentioned and on Sunday we’ll ride in Rolling Thunder. Whether one served or not, the Vietnam War most definitely defined my generation. Over a third of the vets are gone now and I honor them all.

I will be trying to keep my blog going while away but pictures will have to wait until I get home.

Memorial Day… thanks to all who have served, do serve and will serve!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

To Boulder And Back

May 20th, 2013 Jorma 32 comments
The good old Boulder Theater

The good old Boulder Theater

Saturday night the Hot Tuna gang headed out to Boulder to play the Blues And Roots Summit at the Boulder Theater. We were blessed to have our good friend Steve Kimock on board for our whole show. Steve is an honorary Hot Tuna member and he’s welcome to play with us any time he wants to.

Steve and I seen here at sound check

Steve and I seen here at sound check

Before our set Ben Manilla did a meet and greet for the Bluesmobile Radio Show. He channeled Elwood as he always does, but that’s another story. Anyway, Ben presented Jack and myself with a lively lifetime achievement award for a life in the blues. Good stuff… really!

Living the Blues...

Living the Blues...

Here is our set list with Steve!

Hot Tuna 17, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Featuring
Steve Kimock

1. True Religion
2. I See The Light
3. River Of Time
4. Children Of Zion with Steve Kimock
5. Hesitation Blues with Steve Kimock
6. Barbeque King with Steve Kimock
7. Mama Let Lay It On You with Steve Kimock
8. Come Back Baby with Steve Kimock
9. Ten Minutes of Steve
10. Good Shepherd with Steve Kimock
11. Goodbye To the Blues with Steve Kimock
12. 99 Year Blues with Steve Kimock
13. I Am the Light Of This World with Steve Kimock
14. Nine Pound Hammer with Steve Kimock
15. Encore: Embryonic Journey With Steve Kimock

After the show… back to the hotel and up at 0400 for an early flight home. Today I worked on my tractor and mowed for four hours. Good times and clean living…

Last but not least… allow me to present:

Maverick... Dog Of Destiny

Maverick... Dog Of Destiny

We love this dog…

Onward!

Morning Thoughts

May 16th, 2013 Jorma 24 comments
Dawn's early light

Dawn's early light

Foto by Ginger Gagne

On a farm down the road from ours dwells my sister in law, her son and her exchange student from Brazil. They are accompanied by a gaggle of dogs and cats and the like. As she was heading to work at the hospital yesterday morning she took this shot of the old Carlton Church. I have seen this view a number of times myself, but my camera just never seems to be ready or if it is I just don’t have the time to stop and take the picture. This church dates back to the very early 1800’s. There are pictures in the local museum of full immersion baptisms there. This is probably something no one would want to do today as there are cattle upstream. Jardia here we come. That said, it is still beautiful. I shot the cover of my Stars In My Crown album there. It is high on a hill, peaceful… and of course every Sunday, there are cars down down to the road. Sunday in the country… beautiful!

I just was thinking, as we age sometimes it seems as if G_d takes away more than he gives… and of course that is as it should be. I have been given much and there is no justifiable reason to complain. But sometimes, at least for a moment, it just seems as if all is right with the world.

Have a great day! I plan on doing the same!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

The Weekend That Was!

May 13th, 2013 Jorma 11 comments
The class gents from Glass Harp and I

The class gents from Glass Harp and I

Saturday night night Glass Harp came to town. That would be Phil Keaggy on guitar and vocals, John Sferra on drums and Daniel Pecchio on bass and vocals.

The men at work at the Fur Peace Station

The men at work at the Fur Peace Station

I had heard Phil play before, but I had never heard Glass Harp live. These gentlemen are beyond praise as far as I am concerned. People talk about ‘Power trios,’ and that’s well and good. These guys are incisive artists whose mode of expression happens to be a trio format. What an evening. Before the evening was over, Phil called me up and we started with Green Onions and wound up in some other galaxy. Good times indeed.

Beam me up Scotty

Beam me up Scotty

This is the real deal… real life art unfolding before your very eyes. Gotta do this again!!!!!!!!!! Thanks men!

Last but not least… yesterday was Mother’s Day. My Mom, Beatrice, passed on May 8, 1998 while my brother and I went out to get her some flowers. She waited until we were out of the house before she made her final journey home. I still miss her. The good news is that on this Mother’s Day, we also get to celebrate the Mothers in our lives that are still alive. Obviously Vanessa is a Mom and so Izze and I tried in some small way to honor her. As for all the other mothers in the world, where would we be without you. G_d bless you all.

Onward!

(fotos by Robert Brandt)

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags: